Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Red Sox scout Fagnant watches Mariano Rivera Jr. throw at recent indoor event in NY-MassLive

1/19/14, "Red Sox scout Ray Fagnant gets a look at the son of an immortal," Mass Live, Ron Chimelis, Chicopee

"Ray Fagnant has a scoop: There is no cutter in the pitching arsenal of Mariano Rivera Jr.

"His dad said he could never throw a slider, but his son does,'' said Fagnant, the Boston Red Sox scout who watched the son of famed Yankees reliever Mariano Rivera at a recent indoor workout in New York.

Fagnant spoke Sunday at a breakfast of the League of Sacred Heart, a club associated with St. Rose de Lima Church. A Chicopee native and 22-year scouting veteran, the Red Sox talent evaluator said he covered 60,000 miles and watched 500 games each year.

"There is no offseason. The Saturday after we had won the World Series, we held a workout at Fenway Park for (draft) prospects from all over the country.

Fagnant scouts the Northeast region. That takes in New England, New York, New Jersey and eastern Canada, which he described as "east of British Columbia.''

Since the 2013 season ended, he has scouted the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals minor leaguers in the offseason Instructional League. He also worked with former pitcher Eric Gagne as coaches of the French national team.

Scouting Rivera's son was a unique experience, he said.

"Here was the greatest relief pitcher in history, a guy with ice water in his veins, but watching his son pitch, Mariano was as nervous as could be,'' Fagnant said.

"He's a dad. He would give up all five of his World Series rings and his future Hall of Fame spot if it could get his son to the big leagues.''

Will that happen? Too soon to say for Mariano Rivera, Jr., a sophomore pitcher for Iona College, but Fagnant said he has seen the right-hander grow and improve over the past couple of years.

That is typical of scouting teenagers, notably in Fagnant's region. Players from the Northeast play fewer games than their warm-weather counterparts, a drawback in one sense but an advantage in another.

Because most of their baseball is still ahead of them, "they have what we call a higher projectibility because they have more room to develop,'' he said.

Warm-weather players, by comparison, are closer to being finished products at an earlier age. Fagnant said the prospect of untapped potential makes cold-weather players intriguing and often appealing.

Most of Fagnant's work is aimed at giving the Red Sox information for the June first-year player draft. He said his work on the 2014 draft began the day after the 2013 draft began."...

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